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Notre Dame Retains Rees and Elston as Coordinators

Notre Dame has announced their coordinators in wake of its head coaching change. Tommy Rees and Mike Elston will assume the roles.
Notre Dame

Photo: Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Following Marcus Freeman taking over as the new Notre Dame head coach, the first question asked was, who will be his coordinators? Almost immediately, Irish fans have an answer.

Offensive Coordinator: Tommy Rees

Once the current players seemed to have been told Freeman was the guy, they started calling for Tommy Rees to be paid.

Sure enough, a team meeting took place and Rees spoke to the Irish players about his decision.

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Rees was the quarterback at Notre Dame from 2010-2013. He went undrafted and was a member of the Washington Football Team's practice squad. In 2015, he started his coaching career. He was a graduate assistant at Northwestern and then rose to an offensive assistant role at San Diego State in 2016. Continuing his quick ascension, he went home to Notre Dame and was the quarterbacks coach from 2017-2019. Before the Camping World Bowl in 2019, offensive coordinator Chip Long was fired, and Rees took over the play-calling duties. Ever since, Rees has been the OC.

With Kelly gone and Freeman more defensive-focused, Rees should have the freedom to create his own offense. Kelly always had his hands in it previously.

Defensive Coordinator: Mike Elston

In more surprising news, Mike Elston will become Notre Dame's defensive coordinator. Elston is a Brian Kelly disciple. Since 2004, Elston served as the defensive line coach or as another position coach at every school Kelly went to. He also held recruiting and associate head coaching roles. Elston was a prime candidate to travel with Kelly to Baton Rouge and become the LSU defensive coordinator. It looks like Elston decided otherwise.

With both coordinator positions now filled, the Irish can focus on their bowl game. There are still scenarios that would allow them to reach the College Football Playoff. But if they don’t make it, the Irish will most likely participate in a New Years Six Bowl and face a highly ranked opponent.